Room rates and under occupancy

When calculating your entitlement to housing benefit/local housing allowance, consideration is given to the number of bedrooms in the house, compared to the number of residents in the house. This then forms part of the calculation when working out how much help you may receive.

A bedroom is allocated for each of the following (only up to a maximum of 4 bedrooms):

  • each lone parent or couple
  • each other person aged 16+
  • two children under 16 of the same sex
  • two children under 10 of the same or opposite sex
  • any other child
  • an overnight carer or foster parent (qualifying criteria applies)
  • a person who is unable to share a bedroom due to a severe disability (qualifying criteria applies)
  • adult child in the armed forces (qualifying criteria applies).

To see how many bedrooms you are entitled to or for more information, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Find out how much Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance you may be entitled to using the benefit calculator.

Under-occupancy in social housing

From April 2013, changes have been made to the way Housing Benefit is calculated (for working age people) if you rent the home you live in from a local authority, housing association or other registered social landlord.

If you under-occupy your home, the following reductions will be made from your Housing Benefit award:

  • 14% if under occupied by one bedroom
  • 25% if under occupied by two or more bedrooms.

Please note: You will be responsible to pay any shortfall in your rent. Should you have severe difficulty in doing so, you must contact your Landlord straight away.

Further help may be available under the Local Authorities Discretionary Housing Payment scheme.